Can You Use Garden Soil For Indoor Plants? Our Guide Here

Written By James
Updated May 16, 2021 by James

Can You Use Garden Soil For Indoor Plants? Our Guide Here

No matter how much or how little space you have, you can always find a place for some indoor plants.

But, if you've ever tried to grow an indoor plant from seeds or from cuttings, you may have found that soil is hard to come by.

When it comes to cultivating indoor plants, you may be surprised to learn that garden soil is not the best choice.

You can use the same soil for growing both indoors and outdoors plants. This can be true, but you need to know exactly what you are doing.

Many plants need a specific soil that has the right amount of nutrients for optimal growth. Yes you can use garden soil for indoor plants.

But do not forget that the pH of garden soil is different than that of potting soil and that garden soil can contain more minerals and salts than potting soil.

What's the Difference? Garden Soil vs. Potting Soil?

Potting soil and garden soil are two terms that usually get mixed up, so we're going to break it down for you. The main difference between them is what’s in the soil.

Garden soil

  • Garden soils are coarser, full of sand, and lime, which helps with nutrient absorption and drainage.
  • Garden soil should never be used in a container.
  • Garden soil is likely to be infested with insects or disease.
  • Garden soil is a mixture of organic matter and minerals.
  • Garden soil is usually reserved for use in large gardens.

Potting soil

  • Refers to a mixture of peat moss, loam and sand. It is used primarily for plants grown in containers. 
  • Potting soils are made up of a finer texture, so the water drains out of it more easily. The texture is due to the fact that it's made up of peat moss, which is a thick moss.
  • You can use potting soil in a garden container.
  • Potting soil is more sterile than garden soil.
  • Potting soil is typically what you would find in a store that sells plants and garden supplies

What Soil Qualities are Necessary for Plants to Thrive in a Pot?

Soil is the key to growing healthy plants, and when it comes to pots, there are some specific soil qualities that will help your plants thrive.

You can grow plants in containers all year long and have them survive, but if you want them to thrive, you will need to pay attention to the soil.

For one thing, pots dry out faster than the ground, and so it is important to add things like pebbles, mulch, or even sand, to make your plants less likely to dry out.

The soil quality of a home pot garden is essential to the health of the plants you’re growing.

If you want your plants to thrive and blossom, you need to keep the soil in the pots you’ve filled with them healthy by adding organic matter, and you need to give it the right nutrients for the type of plants you’re growing.

The three most important characteristics are soil texture, soil pH and soil fertility.

Three most important characteristics of soil

1. Soil texture

The most important characteristics of soil are the texture and the depth of the soil. The texture is classified by using a soil texture triangle and the depth of the soil is measured by using a soil probe.

Coarse-textured soils are great for drainage, which is key for preventing over-watering. Loose, sandy soils are better for water retention, which is great for houseplants.

If you don't have a natural loamy soil, you can add a few inches of peat moss, which will add good drainage and will give the soil a bit of moisture.

You can test your soil texture by taking a sample of soil and placing it over a sieve.

The larger the pieces of sand, silt, or clay are that stay behind in the sieve, the coarser the soil texture.

2. Soil pH

Soil pH is one of the most important characteristics of a soil.

The pH of soil refers to the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. Soil pH can be measured in either the water-soluble or the exchangeable portion of the soil.

The most important characteristic of soil pH is that it affects the availability of nutrients to plants.

Proper pH levels are required for optimum nutrient availability, so pH is an important consideration when choosing which nutrients to add to your soil.

The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is considered neutral. Below 7 is acid, and above 7 is alkaline.

The optimum range for most plants is between 5.5 and 6.5. Soil pH is measured by a soil test.

3. Soil fertility

While minerals are important for the growth of plants, the most important characteristic of soil is its fertility.

The fertility of soil determines how well plants will grow, and even survive. There are many things that impact on the fertility of your garden soil.

Some of the most important aspects are: soil texture, the amount of organic matter, and the amount of air in the soil.

Soil fertility is created by the interaction of physical, chemical and biological factors, which together support the growth of plants.

Plant roots need air, water, and nutrients to grow. Nutrients are dissolved in the soil and are taken up by plants through their roots.

What's Wrong With Garden Soil?

Soil quality varies significantly from region to region, and even from garden to garden.

Garden soil is the main ingredient in the healthy growth of plants. But garden soil is usually not the best kind to use.

Garden soil is not what it used to be. Over farming has depleted garden soil of its nutrients, and garden soil is now a poor quality replacement.

Garden soil is the soil that is contained within the ground. The soil at the top of the ground is what is usually known as "top soil".

Soil is the foundation for healthy, thriving plants, but it’s often treated as a minor detail, an afterthought.

Unfortunately, soil is rarely given the TLC it deserves. It’s often just topsoil, which is just a thin layer of fertile soil overtop a thicker layer of clay or sand.

If roots can’t penetrate this dense layer, then the plant will struggle to grow. In fact, the health of the plants in your garden is a great indicator of the quality of your soil.

Garden soil improves the texture of natural soil

If you plant a flower or vegetable garden, you know that the soil you buy at the local home improvement store isn't rich and loamy.

To have the best soil for your garden, you will need to make it richer. You can do this by adding compost, bagged manure, and organic materials.

You can also improve the texture of your natural soil by adding garden soil. The variety of soil you have in your garden depends on what the soil was like when you moved in.

If there was a lot of clay in the soil, you will need to add organic material and high quality garden soil to loosen the soil for your plants.

Garden soil improves the texture of natural soil by adding air pockets and air spaces.

By mixing garden soil into the top layer of your regular, natural garden soil, you will improve the texture of both.

Garden soil that is commonly sold in bags in garden centers is specially made to make it easy to handle and easy to plant with.

What are the best indoor plants to use with garden soil?

The term ‘indoor plants’ refers to the entire plant family that can be grown indoors. It includes trees, shrubs, vines, herbs, annuals, perennials, bulbs and succulents.

The best ones to use for this purpose can be divided into two categories: plants that are allowed to grow freely, and those that should be kept in a pot.

Planting indoor plants is a great way to spruce up your space and add life to a dull, lifeless room.

But, soil that works in a garden may not be the best choice for your home.

Soil from your garden can be used to grow indoor plants, but be aware that certain soil types will need to be treated before use. 

For instance, the soil you would use to grow vegetable plants would need to be treated differently than the soil you would use for houseplants.

Plants grown in garden soil require more watering and sunlight than those grown in better-suited growing mediums.

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My father, and his father before him, and his father; for the past 3 generations, my family have always been into gardening. The green fingers is a gift passed down to me and I thoroughly enjoy it! I also have worked in the manufacturing department for Bosch and DeWalt so I like to think I know a thing or two about tools and such!
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